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HCT water pill and potassium

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Old 02-28-2008, 01:04 PM   #1
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leea1206 HB Userleea1206 HB User
HCT water pill and potassium

I know the normal range for potassium is 3.5-5.5, but how low is too low?
Mine runs around 3.3. I would suspect the docs don't get too worried unless it's < 3.0? I will be seeing my internist in 2 wks to discuss.

I do know all the high potassium foods to eat and realize I could take a potassium pill, as a last resort. Thanks for any info.


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Old 02-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #2
Storm Moon
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Re: HCT water pill and potassium

Mine was 2.9 and I was having heart irregularities just the other day. Anything below 3.0 is considered moderate Hypokalemia, but below 2.5 is considered severe and needs to be treated with intravenous supplementation. I take HCTZ 25 mg once per day, and recently began Coreg 12.5 mg twice a day. My doctor is closely monitoring my potassium levels to see if I need further treatment. I might just talk her into letting me off of it to be honest.
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Last edited by Storm Moon; 02-28-2008 at 02:28 PM.

Old 02-28-2008, 11:58 PM   #3
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Re: HCT water pill and potassium


I am finding that my potassium levels are unpredictable and fluctuate wildly. Good reason for them to be closely monitored. I too have experienced heart irregularities and chest pain with unbalanced potassium levels. I guess these irregularities are considered a "normal" side effect of hypokalemia. Severe hypokalemia causes dangerous arrhythmias. Muscular weakness, muscle cramps and fatigue are common when potassium gets too low.
Magnesium is very important for potassium uptake and for maintenance of intracellular potassium levels. If both magnesium and potassium levels are depleted, both must be brought back to normal levels. Refractory hypokalemia will result if only the potassium level is corrected and the magnesium level remains depleted.

Lea, how about asking your doctor about a potassium-sparing diuretic? I have been on one (well, I am on two diuretics, one of them being a potassium-sparing one) since day ONE of my antihypertensive therapy. My potassium has always been low. The K+ sparing diuretic helps somewhat. Problem is, I cannot be on a high dose of it because of my kidney issues. Please let us know what your internist has to say about this. It would be MUCH appreciated.


Old 02-29-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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leea1206 HB Userleea1206 HB User
Re: HCT water pill and potassium

Thank you Storm Moon and Flowergirl for the great info. I will ask the doc about a potassium sparing diuretic and let you know what he says.

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